Peter Cunningham

Peter Cunningham, Executive Director of Education Post

Staff

Executive Director, Education Post

Chicago, Illinois

Peter Cunningham is the executive director of Education Post. He recently served as assistant secretary for communications and outreach in the U.S. Department of Education during the Obama Administration’s first term. Prior to that he worked with Arne Duncan when he was CEO of the Chicago Public Schools.

Peter is affiliated with Whiteboard Advisors, a DC-based education policy, research and communications firm. He serves on several non-profit boards, including Oakland-based Great Schools, which provides school quality information to parents through a national on-line platform, The Montessori School of Englewood, a Chicago public charter school, Manufacturing Renaissance, a career education program that trains public high school students for jobs in manufacturing, Unbounded, an organization supporting teachers in schools that are transitioning to higher standards, and Foolproofme.com, which is focused on financial literacy for students.

Peter founded Cunningham Communications, serving public, private and non-profit clients, worked for political consultant David Axelrod, and was a senior advisor and speechwriter for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.

A native New Yorker, Peter began his career as a journalist with small weekly newspapers in New York. He earned an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University and a B.A. in Philosophy from Duke University. He is married to artist, Jackie Kazarian, and they have two adult children who are proud graduates of the Chicago Public Schools.

RECENT POSTS

Posted Feb. 7, 2018

What Do We Actually Know About Discipline Reform?

Question: Which does more harm? Over-suspending disruptive kids, which denies them learning time and contributes to the dropout rate. Under-suspending…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Feb. 1, 2018

Charter Schools Need to Shift Power to Parents and Educators of Color

Following the release of a report showing that public charter school growth is slowing due to political resistance, the Center…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Jan. 3, 2018

Are Montessori Schools a Better Approach for Teaching Low-Income Children?

Is the Montessori method of schooling better for low-income children? A new study that looks at Montessori preschool students by…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Jan. 2, 2018

Education Reform in 2018 Is Going to Need a Parent Seal of Approval

A few years ago, at a convening of education advocates, one veteran in the reform movement highlighted the lack of…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Dec. 21, 2017

When It Comes to Education Reform, Teachers See the Glass Half Full

“Reform” has become something of a dirty word in education policy and advocacy debates, thanks to a relentless disinformation campaign…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Oct. 23, 2017

Bill Gates’ Education Priorities Reflect His Respect for the Field

In the last 17 years, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent $3.4 billion dollars to improve public education.…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Oct. 9, 2017

Education Is the Surest Path Out of Poverty, Even If The Atlantic Reports Otherwise

One of the favored tactics of education reform opponents is to blame underperformance of schools on problems we cannot easily…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Sep. 28, 2017

High Hopes Despite Low Expectations: Welcome to Oklahoma

For education reform to flourish, you need political leadership to change laws and policies, educational leadership with a clear vision…

By Erika Sanzi, Peter Cunningham

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Posted Sep. 18, 2017

I Got to Be a Fly on the Wall in a Room Full of Teachers

On a recent afternoon, I spent two hours listening to eight public school teachers talk about their work. All but…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Sep. 12, 2017

Don’t Get Angry, Get Eva

Somehow, while managing a sprawling network of public charter schools serving 15,000 children, engaging in the day-to-day political combat of…

By Peter Cunningham

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Featured Posts

Posted Dec. 15, 2017

When I Set Up My Classroom Now I Only Think About Which Bookshelf Can Stop a Bullet

BY BRETT BIGHAM, 2014 OREGON STATE TEACHER OF THE YEAR: I don’t know a teacher who has not looked at the faces of Sandy Hook and wondered, “What if?”…

By Brett Bigham

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Posted Feb. 14, 2018

Black Panther Proves That Our Kids Need More Black Superheroes, Both on the Screen and in the Classroom

I am looking forward to the premiere of “Black Panther” with the same excitement I bring to planning my birthday month. (Yes, I said month.)…

By Kenya Bradshaw

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Posted Feb. 13, 2018

I Know White Teachers Can Be Biased Against Kids of Color Because I Was

I changed schools in the middle of the first grade because my teacher was a racist. “She told you that you’re smarter than your classmate…

By Sydney Chaffee

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